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Letters to the Editor: March 31, 2018

Where were the Mac students?

On March 24, I attended the March for Our Lives in McMinnville.

Considering it was cold and rainy, we had a good turnout. However, very few high school students participated in the march, which was disappointing for many of us who came out to support them.

Did you not come because it wasn’t organized by Mac High students? Because no Mac students played organizing roles? Because you didn’t know about it? 

Because you were marching in Salem, Portland or Washington, D.C.? Because you didn’t believe in the march, or you didn’t care?

I’m curious to know why you weren’t there and where you were instead. I’m looking for a response so I can better understand and support you.

Emily Kerrigan

McMinnville

 

Safer with police presence

In response to the “Armed presence troubling” letter:

I find that when I see armed and uniformed police officers around, I feel safer, knowing they are there to serve and protect. I find that when people feel threatened by peace officers, they generally have something to hide.

When I see police officers in McMinnville, they are always friendly and willing to talk. Thank you to Chief Scales for providing a needed service to the community.

Wayne Fitzgerald

Carlton

 

Mixed messages in D.C.

During a recent Q&A session at the White House, a reporter asked why President Trump’s congratulatory phone call on Putin’s re-election didn’t include any mention of election meddling, in theirs or ours, or social injustices in Russia. The answer was that the United States should not interfere in another country’s political process.

My thought was, what about Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Somalia, just to name a few? Why some countries and not other countries? Who makes the decision to change the policies of other nations? Is it just for some and not all?

Since the end of World War II, we have tried to change the policies of many countries for many different reasons, usually to promote our own agenda or advantage. It’s difficult to know where and when to draw a line in the sand when you’re not even sure where the beach is anymore.

Where and what are we doing? What is right and what wrong? I believe we should really be engaged in a bit of self-reckoning.

Randy Lewis

McMinnville

 

Trump set to wall off Mexico

The Democrats and RINOs — Republicans in Name Only — thought they had one over on Trump. But by artfully not vetoing the omnibus funding bill, the president gave himself a free hand — a free hand to wall our porous border, rebuild our depleted military and avoid wasting American lives and treasure on foolish foreign adventures.

President Trump’s March 24 letter to House Speaker Ryan and Senate President McConnell declared his intent to direct allocation of funds appropriated in the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, stating:

“In accordance with Section 7058(d) of Division K of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (HR 1625), I hereby designate as an emergency requirement all funding so designated by the Congress in the Act, pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, for the accounts referenced in section 7058(d). The details of this action are set forth in the enclosed memorandum from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

The next day, he tweeted:

“Because of the $700 & $716 billion gotten to rebuild our military, many jobs are created and our military is again rich. Building a great border wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our country, is all about national defense.”

“Build wall through m,” he said, “m” referencing the military because he aims to use national defense funding.

Daniel Katz

McMinnville

 

Discourages bad behavior

Thank you, Matt Scales, for having the good judgment to place an armed police officer in downtown Mac during the day. I think this will provide our local business owners and visitors a greater sense of safety and security.

As opposed to the research of Sheila Hunter (letter of 3/23/18), my research shows an increased law enforcement presence tends to discourage those who would participate in bad behavior. This seems like a good idea, and comes at no extra cost to the city.

On a personal level, this will entice me to shop and dine downtown. Thank you, Mac PD.

Paul Brooking

McMinnville

 

Schools rising to challenge

Thompson Morrison is to be commended for the school innovations he advocates in his Viewpoints editorial, “Mustering the courage to re-imagine education.”

He is quite correct that kids need to be given skills that will make them adaptable for a future economy. The workers of tomorrow will need to be innovative and mentally flexible to succeed.

Where Morrison goes wrong — horribly wrong — is by trash-talking our modern public schools.

He falsely maintains that “students are still being taught the same way our grandparents were.” Baloney. It makes me wonder when he last actually sat in a public school classroom.

Today’s teachers and administrators are keenly aware that adaptability is a crucial learning outcome in today’s world. Teaching methods are being revised continually to provide students with a curriculum that focuses on teamwork, problem-solving and innovative thinking. This is one of the great ongoing challenges of public education, and our schools are rising to the task.

I also take issue with Morrison’s assertion that students are made to “memorize and regurgitate” information without an understanding of its usefulness. He notes that we all carry an immense amount of information on our smart phones, and he seems dismissive of the very idea of learning facts when we can look them up with a swipe of our fingers.

But to use all of this information productively, students need a structure of basic knowledge — yes, facts — to put data into context.

Schools today are designed to provide students with that framework for using information effectively. That means knowing vocabulary and understanding systems.

For example, hearing about species extinctions means nothing if you don’t know what species are. Knowing stuff still matters.
Mr. Morrison’s ploy of trashing public schools shows he hasn’t done his homework. Public education remains our wisest public investment in a changing world.

Scott Gibson

Amity

 

Offer a hand up

Many of our citizens are trying to pretend the problem with our homeless is one of morality rather than economics — that they are jobless because they are lazy or addicted.

We’d best get used to getting along, treating others as we’d like to be treated and creating a humane community, as Eugene did. After all, it’s working.

Homelessness shouldn’t be considered a problem, rather an opportunity to do something we can all be proud of. Isn’t there a saying, “We’re all just paychecks away from becoming homeless ourselves?”

To fine RV dwellers $250 and boot cars that families are forced to live in exacerbates the problem. It amounts to kicking a person while he’s down.

As a diligent reader of the News-Register, I would surmise a lot of people on the streets are working. If you boot their car, how do you figure they’re going to get to work, get their children to school and so forth?

Remember, life is short and we only get to live it once, at least here on Earth. Let’s designate space that gives dignity and a hand up to those at their extreme lowest.

Jody Endresen

McMinnville

 

Gun fetish obstructionists

A minority of gun fetishists and cowed legislators are obstructing progress on common sense gun control policies.

The Second Amendment’s “well-regulated militia” reference represented a compromise between founders who favored a permanent national army (the Federalists) and founders who believed such a force would pose a threat to liberty during peacetime (the Anti-Federalists).

It was not intended to create a carte blanche right to unrestricted gun ownership. In fact, there is already U.S. Supreme Court precedent for Second Amendment restrictions

Too many people have died. It’s long past time for sensible gun reforms.

Alisa Owen

McMinnville

 

Simple truth, urgent plea

The NRA got it exactly backward in its determination to minimize the significance America’s youth, whose voices captured the consciousness of the nation and the world this past weekend.

In a wholly unenlightened and mean-spirited message, the NRA attempted to convince us its “billionaire gun-haters” took advantage of these young people to advance their personal cause. I would argue it was the youth who wisely made use of their own voices and went forward to spread their own simple message — more gun violence.

No billions of dollars could have generated the simple truth of their urgent plea. No billions and billions of dollars could have made their message more pure, more real or more enduring. I have found myself despairing of late at the state of our governance — the absurdity of our president, the weakness and self-serving cowardice of our legislators. But the young people who marched and spoke this weekend have given me renewed optimism. I am confident this has been a defining moment for them and will inform their thinking and decisions throughout their lives. More than even this, they now know they have the power to make a difference when a difference is what this nation needs. These youth are a force to be reckoned with for the president, the Congress and the NRA. As these young people mature into the voters of tomorrow, they will turn their attentions to the ballot box, and they will be heard again and again. I thank them for giving me hope that all is not lost, that they are on the way to save us, that they will make this a better world than the one we have left them.

Erma Vasquez

McMinnville

Comments

tagup

Daniel Katz-
Congressional budgeting is done with very specific instructions on how the money is to be spent. Any repurposing of funding requires express congressional approval. Given that the 1.6 billion that was allocated by congress to border security, came with directions that money could not be spent on a concrete barrier or in natural areas, I think it might be difficult for Mr. Trump to get his wall funded from the Pentagon budget....This is a perfect example of why congress holds the purse strings....

Rotwang

Where's my laugh emoticon for Erma? Such a nationwide show of propaganda could not have been done without some large injections of cash. It takes coaching, coordination, and logistics.

Mudstump

Rotwang - "Such a nationwide show of propaganda could not have been done without some large injections of cash."

You know....I wondered the same thing about the tea party.

T.W.S.

Erma Vasquez, you are just as undereducated as the Parkland Students are, especially David Hogg, the mastermind of ignorance on the 2nd Amendment and who and what the NRA is.

Money, like feelings, DO NOT CHANGE FACTS!!!

There is no such thing as an "assault weapon," and the AR-15 is only cosmetically different than a .22 carbine rifle. Sure it fires .223 rounds, but what is that, a .003 larger sized bullet? An Armorlite Rifle only "looks like" a military rifle, but it is NOT a military weapon. Period. They would be useless in war, as they only fire single shots per trigger pull and jam far more often. This rifle is combat ineffective. Which is why it is NOT used by the military.

The 2nd Amendment's TRUE legislative history, intent and purpose is NOT taught in schools. FBI Uniform Crime Report data is NOT taught in schools. Neither are even understood or known to the general public, which speaks volumes about out education system.

FBI UCR Data shows that more people day annually by hands, fists and feet, 2x as many in fact, than by a rifle. 4x as many by blunt objects and 6x as many by stabbing objects. The rifle is not the problem. The weapon of choice used by people intent on harming another is not the problem. It is a people/human problem. Period.

T.W.S.

CORRECTION: FBI UCR Data shows that more people **DIE*** annually by....

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